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Friends’ Central pitcher/outfielder Chris Annas is Main Line Boys Athlete of the Week

The senior pitcher/outfielder is batting .409 with a .536 on-base percentage, hitting from the No. 3 spot in the order. On the mound, he has a 1.08 ERA, and had struck out 17 batters in 13 innings pitched. He was a Carpenter Cup member last spring. A three-sport athlete at Friends’ Central (soccer, basketball, baseball), Annas will be attending Franklin & Marshall College in the fall, and hopes to play baseball there. A couple of years ago, he was a prominent player on the Broomall team that won the Babe Ruth World Series. Annas is the son of Friends’ Central Associate Athletic Director Phil Annas and Haverford College Athletic Director Wendy Smith.
Q: You threw five shutout innings in a 1-0 win against a powerful Bonner squad April 7 and made a sensational diving catch in the top of the eighth inning in center field. What pitches were working for you particularly well on the mound that day? Can you describe your catch and the circumstances surrounding it?
A: I was having a good day hitting my spots.  I was able to throw my cutter for strikes and shook off signs even with a deep count on the batter to throw my cutter.  On the catch, I saw the ball off the bat and thought it was going to fall for a hit in the right center gap – I was running hard and as I got closer I realized this could be the game winning hit and I had to make a play.
Q: You’re batting in the third spot this year, last year you hit leadoff for Friends’ Central. Does your batting approach change when you are moved up or down in the lineup order?
A: The difference for me is this year pitches are mixed up more, which makes it harder unlike last year when I could sit on a fast ball for the first pitch.
Q: Tell us a little about your experience in the Carpenter Cup last year. What was your most vivid memory of your Carpenter Cup experience?
A: Unfortunately I had my wisdom teeth taken out on a Tuesday so I wasn’t able to play the first game that Wednesday but I had a chance to pitch in the second game that Friday against Delco, which had a lot of my former Marple/ Babe Ruth teammates, so that made it even more fun.
Q: What do you think is the strongest part of your game? What part of your game are you working on the most currently?
A: Having a strong arm which enables me to play in the outfield and pitch when needed.  I’m currently working on improving my swing along with working on my pitches on the mound.
Q: Who is your favorite baseball player/pitcher, and why?
A: Madison Bumgarner – he’s friends with my cousin in North Carolina so I have heard a lot of stories about him and it makes it more fun to follow him.
Q: As a pitcher, after facing a hitter a couple of times in a game, you probably have a better idea of what to throw him late in a game. Can you give us an example of how this has worked in your favor?
A: Most of the time I stay with what my pitching coach’s signs are.  I rarely shake him off but if I remember someone driving the ball in a previous at bat I tend to keep pitches low and away and mix in more cutters.
Q: A couple of years ago you were a prominent player on the Broomall team that won the Babe Ruth World Series. What is your most vivid memory of being on that team – can you share it with us?
A: Traveling to different places, winning baseball games and spending time with friends and teammates who I had been playing with since Little League.   Endless games of Kan Jam and visiting sites like Mount St. Helens made it an amazing summer.
Q: Who have been your biggest baseball mentors, and what was the most important thing each of them taught you? What has been your parents’ biggest influence on your athletic career?
A: I have had a variety of coaches who have helped to improve my game along the way but most of all made the game fun for me.  Both of my parents have been really supportive throughout my baseball career.
Q: What is your favorite baseball park, and why?
A: David Story Field in Longview, Wash., where my team [from Broomall] won the 2014 Babe Ruth World Series
Q: You wear uniform jersey No. 12 for Friends’ Central – is there a reason you picked that number – does it have any significance to you?
A:  It’s my birth date.
Q: What do you think you might like to major in at Franklin & Marshall? Is there a particular career path that interests you at the present time?
A: Possibly business.
Q: Do you participate in any other extracurricular activities at Friends’ Central other than baseball, soccer and basketball? What sparked your interest in these other activities?
A:  A few clubs – food club, student council, service committee – to stay connected to the school and know what’s going on.
Fun facts – Chris Annas
Favorite movie: When the Game Stands Tall.
Favorite athlete: Lionel Messi.
Favorite place to visit: Atlantis, Bahamas.
Favorite pre-game meal: “Anything.”
Favorite color: Blue.
Family members: parents Wendy and Phil, dog Patches.
(To be selected as Main Line Boys Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by his coach.)



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